Stronger together at the Jewish Federation Foundation


Recently, both Temple Beth-El, in Providence, and Temple Sinai, in Cranston, chose the Jewish Federation Foundation to help manage their congregational endowment funds.

At the beginning of June, Beth-El moved a significant portion of its endowment, close to $9 million, to JFF.

At the end of December, Temple Sinai created a new endowment fund with JFF, aimed at supporting the synagogue in the future.

These synagogues join Rhode Island Jewish agencies and synagogues large and small that have investments totaling more than $16 million in JFF.

JFF endowment funds are managed by the Rhode Island Foundation, a relationship that was established four years ago and has significantly benefited JFF. The funds are invested with the foundation’s portfolio of more than $1 billion.

“We are so pleased to have so many synagogues and agencies that have chosen to invest with the Jewish Federation Foundation,” said Adam Greenman, president and CEO of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. “Moving a fund to the foundation or creating a new fund shows a commitment to being our partner, to investing in the Jewish community.

“Our endowment has a more than 70-year history of supporting the community. Due to our partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation, our investment returns are stronger than ever. Thanks to Temple Beth-El, Temple Sinai and the other agencies and congregations that have put their trust in us.”

Tonya Glantz, president of Temple Beth-El, said in an email, “Partnering with the Jewish Federation Foundation provides a thoughtful way for Rhode Island’s diverse Jewish community to come together to build unity and strength socially, fiscally and communally while still retaining our unique identities and presence in the state. In this way, I believe that standing together today is sure to bring the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

“As president of Temple Beth-El, the rich history of our synagogue and the strength of our community, which has existed for close to 170 years, humbles me and leaves me hopeful for its future. I am a social worker, and my training and work have taught me about the importance of solidarity, because we are always better and stronger together.”

The benefits and advantages of an organization’s endowment fund at the Jewish Federation Foundation include:

• Being part of the investment portfolio of the Rhode Island Foundation, affording access to investment vehicles that are not available to smaller funds

• Customer service from the Jewish Alliance

• An investment fee that gives back to the community

• Tools to encourage donors to think about their legacy

• Access to expertise regarding endowment/planned-giving with congregants/donors

• Partnership with an organization with shared values that supports communities throughout the state.

In an email, Gregg Rosen, president of Temple Sinai, said, “Who said running a Temple’s donations, special funds and endowments is easy? At Temple Sinai we are so happy to have the JFF available to help us answer challenging questions and give us sound advice on how to invest.

“It is an honor and a mitzvah when you receive a donation that has been given to your Temple. What does the donor want to use it for? How do we set it up? Who will manage the investment to help it grow? Do they understand how a Temple runs? Will they invest safely and wisely?

“We are lucky to have the JFF. They understand how a Temple runs and the importance and timing of distributing these funds yearly. To have monies you can count on each year for perpetuity to help us continue to operate and serve our congregation is incredible. We are blessed to have donations, and it is our job together as a Temple and the JFF to protect them and grow them to help sustain our future.”

Additionally, JFF offers organizations a lot of operational flexibility: contributions to the fund can be made at any time; organizations can choose to receive regular distributions or request them as needed; organizations can use their own spending policy (the formula to determine how much income can be distributed each year) or the one JFF uses for Alliance endowment funds.

For more information about the Jewish Federation Foundation, contact Sara Masri, chief development officer, at or 401-421-4111, ext. 223.